Disney's new version of The Lion King hits theaters today, to the joy of children (and realtors who sell beach houses to movie executives) everywhere. The much-hyped remake is causing a lot of folks to reconsider the original film. And guess what? It's actually pretty creepy and gross. Specifically, there's Simba's romance with Nala, famously consummated to the aphrodisiacal sounds of an Elton John power ballad.
Thankfully, 23andMe doesn't exist in the Pride Lands. Otherwise Simba would realize that he's totally hooking up with a blood relative. Yeah, there are only two adult male lions in their pride -- Mufasa and Scar. So Nala and Simba are either cousins or half-siblings. Which might fly in the animal kingdom, but for Disney heroes imbued with distinctly human characteristics, we're verging on Game Of Thrones levels of ickiness.
This isn't even a fan theory; it was spelled out in early versions of the script. Nala was originally introduced as Simba's "girl-cousin of the same age," and the pair repeatedly referred to each other as "cousin." Yeah, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Cousin?" doesn't have the same ring to it. But while Simba and Nala's mothers are sisters, the script also implied that Mufasa fathered both of them. So they're cousins and half-siblings!
The straight-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride really highlighted the incest. After realizing that Shakespeare wrote lots of plays that can easily be ripped off with lion characters, Disney reworked Romeo And Juliet with Simba's daughter and Scar's son falling in love.
We're guessing these lions simply adopted the "Hakuna Matata" ethos of not giving a crap when it comes to romancing family members. Still, if you go see The Lion King this weekend, just remember A) the disturbingly realistic CGI isn't the creepiest part of the movie, and B) Finding Nemo was also a nightmare when you actually break it down in terms of real-world biology.
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